The difficult economic situation has led to shortages of many types of resources. The stress of managing finances, juggling commitments and attempting to pinch pennies has left many people feeling drained of ideas as well as tangible resources.
This is especially catastrophic amongst those who rely about creativity to earn a paycheck. Artists, writers, designers and musicians have felt the crash of the imagination markets keenly, and are feeling desperate for ideas.
In their desperation, a few of those affected used their last ounces of creative juices to find an unusual solution. Picking a corner and fashioning a sign of cardboard, they have hit the streets.
However, they are not asking for monetary donations.
They are soliciting ideas.
Signs reading “Can you spare a thought?” are primarily generating confused looks from passersby. A hat “seeded” with slips of paper, and a hand proffering sharpies are helping to clarify the intent.
Other signs are more obvious. One idea beggar held a sign that says “Got ideas? Please share! Anything helps! God Bless!” Another ideapreneur’s sign reads “Will work for ideas!”
When asked if they had gathered any useful ideas from standing on the corner, Edgar Jenkins replied, “A few. Ideas just don’t go as far as they used to. People are busy, and they are short on ideas. Some people are rude. They’re like, ‘Why would we give you our ideas? We need them for ourselves!’ It’s tough. But, there are a few nuggets in there. They just take some polishing.”
Regular panhandlers are angry about the interlopers. “Why can’t they be asking for money like normal people? They faff about, with their cutsy signs, all covered in flowers and fancy lettering. It’s ruining my income. They’re taking all the good corners, and now, instead of money, people expect to be able to talk to me about their stupid invention. People are tossing me slips of paper covered with crappy ideas. Just this week, someone flipped me a ‘Get a job,” a “Get a haircut,” “hot dogs in the shape of actual dogs,” and “frogs on stilts.” I can’t imagine what those freaks would do to that nonsense. You can’t eat it, that’s for sure.”
A few of these idea mongers have reported more success than they had thought possible. “I may never go back to stupid tricks like brainstorming after this. I’m just going to use ideas I get from other people. Some might call that plagiarism, but they were donated freely. I’m going to think of them as ‘found objects,’ or ‘recycling.’ Hey, yeah, that’s good! It’s a green initiative! Recycling ideas!”
faff / FAFF / verb, chiefly British, to dither or fumble, to waste time on an unproductive activity.
"Faff" is probably a borderline choice, admittedly, as it really is slang in the United Kingdom. It is derived from one of the many dialects that make up the rich lingual landscape of the birthplace of our wonderful language. Its original meaning to 'blow in gusts, ' makes it pretty clear how it got its figurative meaning.